Five years after earthquake, academic institutions, health facilities await reconstruction in Nepal

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KATHMANDU: A significant number of educational institutions and health facilities destroyed in the devastating 2015 earthquake in Nepal are still awaiting reconstruction due to the inability of the government to provide sufficient funds, according to an official report.
The national reconstruction authority report, released on Thursday, shows that out of the 7,553 schools that needed reconstruction, only 5,598 have been completed fully or partially.
About 2,015 (26 per cent) of the quake-damaged schools are yet to be reconstructed, the Kathmandu Post reported.
Out of 1,197 damaged health centres, only 669 (56 per cent) have been completed so far, while 145 of them are mid-construction. Work on the 32 per cent of the damaged buildings has not even started.
In April 2015, a devastating earthquake of 7.8 magnitude rocked Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and wounding nearly 22,000 others.
In 2016, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli allotted 838 billion rupees ($6.8 billion) under a five-year plan to complete the reconstruction of all quake-hit academic institutions and health facilities within three years.
Nepal marked the fifth anniversary of the earthquake on Friday but the government is still struggling to ensure funds for the reconstruction of projects.
The buildings of the academic institutions and the health facilities that should have been in place last year are still nowhere near complete, The Kathmandu Post said.
Prime Minister Oli, in a statement on the fifth anniversary of the earthquake, said though the reconstruction work has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, his government was committed to completing the remaining tasks at the earliest.
Sushil Gyewali, the chief executive officer of the authority, in the media report said, “I agree that we have missed the deadline for the reconstruction of schools and health facilities, but we have made good progress in the reconstruction of individual homes.”

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